Tom Udall

For the Love of Literature: Durbin Has Formed Relationships Over Books
The Senate’s go-to bookworm has countless reading buddies

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., has a book in there somewhere. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Georgetown student and bookworm named Dick Durbin worked at Discount Books and Records in Dupont Circle in the mid-1960s. 

The store is gone now, but that same bookworm is still handing out books — now to senators, presidents and Supreme Court justices.

Sex Trafficking Bill Would Narrow Protections for Internet Companies
Senators say the bill is aimed at Backpage.com, not Facebook or Google

Sen. Rob Portman, shown here in 2015, introduced the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act earlier this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Word on the Hill: Kushner Meets Congressional Interns
Dog Days of Summer Yappy Hour

Jared Kushner, the President’ Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, leaves the Hart Senate Office Building after his interview with the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee staff on Monday, July 24. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

First son-in-law Jared Kushner is scheduled to speak to interns on Capitol Hill today at 3 p.m. as part of the House Administration Committee and Senate Committee on Rules and Administration’s Intern Lecture Series.

It was originally scheduled for July 28 and then moved to today. The White House senior adviser’s lecture will take place in the Capitol Visitor Center’s Congressional Auditorium.

Rating Change: Open Seat Gives Democrats Takeover Opportunity in New Mexico
Rep. Steve Pearce vacates 2nd District seat to run for governor

New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce’s run for governor gives Democrats an opening in his 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With re-election rates often hovering above 90 percent, open seats represent a critical factor in the Democrats’ quest for a House majority. New Mexico’s 2nd District has been an elusive target for years, as long as Rep. Steve Pearce has been on the ballot.

But the Republican congressman’s decision to run for governor opens up a majority-Hispanic district that could be vulnerable if an anti-GOP wave develops.

Fourth Democrat Enters Race for Pearce’s Seat
Retired pharmaceutical exec Tony Martinez announces as incumbent considers run for governor

Retired Endo executive Tony Martinez, who served on active duty and in the U.S. Army Reserve, helped form a local chapter of the liberal group Indivisible. (tonymartinez4nm.com)

A fourth Democrat has entered the race for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District as Rep. Steve Pearce considers a run for governor.

Tony Martinez was senior vice president of the drug manufacturing company Endo and served in both on active duty and in the reserves in the U.S. Army, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. 

In Tax Return Secrecy, Congress Unites
What some lawmakers said when we asked for copies of their returns

Only 37 of 532 members of Congress responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No matter what their political affiliation, members of Congress have this in common: They don’t like releasing their tax returns. Only 37 of the 532 members of the House and Senate responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns over several weeks, starting in April. Most of them declined to release their tax returns.

Here are some of their responses.

Natives on the Hill Aims to Be an Antidote to Homesickness
Three staffers launch new group for fellow Native Americans

Natives on the Hill co-founders, from left, Renée Gasper, Catelin Aiwohi and Kim Moxley. (Courtesy Sen. Tom Udall’s office)

A new staff association hopes to help Native Americans feel at home in D.C.

“A lot of us are away from home, and so there’s a community element to it. It’s harder to feel Indian sometimes in D.C. because you’re disconnected from ceremonies, cultural events,” said Kim Moxley, co-founder of Natives on the Hill. “It’s like a ‘battling homesickness’ mechanism.”

FCC Responds to Senate Query on Reporter Incident
Official response does not satisfy critics

Ajit Pait, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, did not satisfy critics with his response to the incident between FCC security and a reporter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Federal Communications Commission has responded to a Senate query about an altercation between a CQ Roll Call reporter and the agency’s security, but lawmakers are not satisfied with the explanation.

Democratic Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire had questions about an incident in which reporter John M. Donnelly reported being pinned by a security officer when trying to question Commissioner Michael O’Rielly at the conclusion of an open meeting.

Senators Warn FCC, Trump Administration About Freedom of the Press
Comes after CQ Roll Call reporter was pinned against a wall while covering the commission

Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley says it is customary for reporters to question public officials after meetings, as he is seen doing here. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.

“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”  

Word on the Hill: Staffers and Self-Esteem
Get your bikes ready for Friday

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner talks with an aide during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Staffers can learn about the positive effects of self-esteem on performance today.

As part of the Employee Assistance Program’s webinar series, this class will “outline ways to rewire our brains in order to be more optimistic and increase self-confidence,” the invitation reads. Staffers can also “discuss ways to build self-esteem and control negative thoughts.”